Monday, September 12, 2011

Could it be the party conference season?

Oh well, back to real life if you can call the matter of party conferences real. Last week we had the TUC blustering and threatening that they will do such things, what they are they know not but they shall be the terror of the earth (to misquote the great Bard of Avon).

Next week it's the Lib-Dims' turn and watching them roast Nick Clegg and other Ministers of the Crown might actually be fun. Then it is Labour and the Conservatives.

This week-end we had the Greens and UKIP, the latter of which produced its usual crop of angry speeches and may well produce some policies. We were certainly promised some but, at present, there is nothing new along those lines on the UKIP website.

But, right on cue, we have an interview with the Foreign Secretary, William Hague (in case you have forgotten his name) in which he tells us
that it would "certainly not [be] career suicide" to become linked to a new group that wants a shift in Britain's relationship with Europe.
So, all those Tory "eurosceptics" can breathe again. They will have their career in the party, after all. Well, maybe.

There was more to come:
Mr Hague suggested that Britain might do better by setting itself apart from the continent in the same way that it had done over the issue of the single currency.

"It's true of the euro, it could be true of more areas in future. In fact we may get ahead as a result of being outside," Mr Hague said.

He said the creation of the eurozone without closer tax and spending rules was "always a giant mistake" and it "would stand as a monument in time to how group–think can go so seriously away from what is realistic"
There is, readers might notice, a certain vagueness about that statement. Which areas? How will Britain set itself apart from the continent or, for that matter, the European Union? It is all a mystery.
On Monday a group of 80 new intake Tory MPs will meet to discuss what reforms they want.

Backbencher George Eustice, one of the group's conveners, said: "The aim of this new group is to promote debate about creating a new relationship with the EU and reversing the process of EU integration."

Mr Eustice has said that the eurozone crisis has given Britain the opportunity to press for change.

Mr Hague said members of the new group would be welcomed into his office any time.
Cosy isn't it? Another group is formed to ensure that the tiny move towards a sensible attitude towards Britain's membership of the EU (get out and negotiate new deals) are undermined and its members will always be welcomed in Mr Hague's office to chew the fat about what reforms are needed without ever bothering to find out how those reforms might be put into effect. (Hint: there is no way as the treaties do not allow it.)

Two things spring to mind: one is that the Conservatives do appear to be looking to a General Election earlier than 2015 and they have probably realized that they need the eurosceptic vote if they want to win. I have written about this before here and here among other postings.

The other notion that is playing in my mind, perhaps unworthily, is that Wee Willie Hague is looking to a future, which is not just post-Cameron but also post-Osborne with himself as the only possible leader.

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